Archive for Letters to Readers

Letters to Readers: World caving in

I never share private notes written to me, but sometimes I like to post my responses, as often what I say applies to many situations, and a keyword search might lead you here.

This response was for a woman who after years of infertility and a husband who did not seem to want a baby, got pregnant, then lost the baby despite going off the meds she feared would harm it, even though she needed them for mental illness.


Let’s first start with why you are feeling so awful.

1. A very sad and awful thing has happened, and you were both taken by surprise, and pushed and pulled back and forth for a bit before you knew for sure.

2. Your body, during this process, changes your chemistry to go from pregnant to non-pregnant, stripping your brain of very important chemicals that normally help you cope.

3. You are off medicines that normally help you, so problem number 2 in your case is much much worse than in other women.

That right there is enough to send ANYONE off the deep edge. I’d be peering over cliffs and testing ropes for sturdiness too!

But you have more.

4. Unsympathetic family. Forgive them. They just don’t know any better.

5. A situation that was unexpected from the start–you’re infertile, you’re not, you’re pregnant, you’re not. No wonder you want more meds. Hey, pass the bottle, I need some just worrying about you!

6. Some discord between you and your husband. He didn’t want a baby. But he had adjusted. That’s a sign of a good daddy-to-be. He’s said some things that aren’t so great about grieving. But that’s okay. He’s grieving too. Life isn’t anything like he expected, and he’s as bewildered as you are at how to handle it. And he’s withholding things from you that would comfort and heal you both, mainly sex, which is just fine and safe with condoms and would actually HELP this process along both physically (to encourage cramping) and emotionally. I urge you to help him see this so you can go back to a loving, take-care-of-each-other relationship. Right now it’s not good at all.

First, let me tell you, miscarriage is never your fault. Never, ever. If it were, no one would ever have babies, because all of us, at some point, doubt our abilities to care for one, or if getting pregnant were wise, and if we are in a good relationship, and if it’s a good time. ALL of us do this.

The main thing you need right now is to give yourself lots of space to behave any way you need. Don’t let anyone tell you how to act or when to be better. Realize much of this is physical bones-tissue-blood-chemistry and NOT a personal failing. Don’t pull this into your head, make it about your character. Mother Nature is often not a mother or nurturing. She’s a cold hearted witch with a capital B.

You’re doing fine. You’re reading, researching, learning, and reaching out. You’re going to get through this. And on the other side of it, when your sadness is a part of you but not ALL of you, you’re going to see the life this baby has given you, the changes that will happen due this tragedy. It may never make sense, but you will see its impact.


Deanna is the author of Baby Dust, a novel about women going through miscarriage. If you need help right away, remember she has a secret Facebook group you can join.

Letters from Readers: Suicide Thoughts, Again

I never share private notes written to me, but sometimes I like to post my responses, as often what I say applies to many situations, and a keyword search might lead you here.

This response was for a woman considering suicide, unable to get out of bed or care for her family.


It is very natural to feel super terrible after losing a baby, both physically and emotionally. We do all go through it. We think about dying to be with our babies. We don’t want to talk to people. It’s very normal to be very very upset.

Right after a D&C, the body has to adjust to not being pregnant. The chemicals that were in your body while you were pregnant have to all get filtered  out of your blood. During this process, your brain is robbed of a VERY important chemical called seratonin. While it’s missing, you feel just awful, crying, drained, miserable, angry, snappy, like screaming, then suddenly not wanting to move or go anywhere, unable to function. It’s just awful.

But know that it’s only a few days, two weeks at the most. If it goes on longer than that, then another thing has happened, and your body is not recovering chemically. It’s VERY important if you still don’t want to get out of bed after about two weeks that you talk to your doctor. You can get in very bad shape and feel very suicidal if you don’t get something to help you through the transition until your body can take over your emotions and moods again.

The whole thing is always so sad. You lose your baby, then your body makes a mess of your life. I’m so sorry you are going through it. I’ve been there three times, and it was so awful. I remember wanting to drive my car off a cliff and later thinking–why did I even want to do that? It wasn’t me. It was just this mess in my body at the time.

Realize there is a difference between THINKING about suicide and PLANNING it. We all think it. Really, we do. It’s part of the healing process. But if you start planning how you’ll do it, or what you’ll do, or when, the minute you sense you’ve crossed that line, don’t think twice, call 1-800-SUICIDE. They’ll talk you through it and tell you much of what I’ve told you here.

Hang in there. It’s a hard road. You’re not alone. So many of us have walked this path and struggled through it. There is so much out there ahead, so much love to feel and babies to have. You’ll get there, I promise.


Deanna is the author of Baby Dust, a novel about women going through miscarriage.
If you need help right away, remember she has a secret Facebook group you can join.

Letters to Readers: Miscarriage and Desertion

I never share private emails sent to me, but I occasionally post my responses with any identifying information taken out, in hopes that keywords will lead you to some answers.

This letter was to a young woman whose boyfriend left her after the miscarriage, and she lost her apartment and had to move back in with her parents until she got back on her feet.


This is so much to endure! I am so sorry you have to deal with this alone.

There is no way to put any sort of positive spin or silver lining on this. It’s just a horrible part of your life that can only test your endurance and your hope. Another sweet baby–gone. No one to hold on to you as you go through it.

At least you do have your parents’ home to go to, and perhaps you can surround yourself with little things that remind you of a simpler time, when you were a child, and did not have to go through all these hard times. A favorite dish maybe. A stuffed animal from when you were little. Try to remember what it was like to be innocent of all this, and then steadily work your way into looking forward to a better day ahead.

It sounds like a fresh start awaits you, with a new love, a new relationship, one that can only be better. And that baby that will hopefully be out there, when you are ready, and you and a doctor can sit down and go over everything happening in your body so you can get some answers.

Life has handed you a difficult period. It’s up to you to pull together every ounce of strength you have and get through it. I’ll send you everything I can spare–all the calming thoughts, love, and hugs.

Just do the best you can. It’s all anyone can ask of you.



Letters to Readers: On suicide thoughts

I never share private notes written to me, but sometimes I like to post my responses, as often what I say applies to many situations, and a keyword search might lead you here.

This response was for a woman considering suicide after her third miscarriage that she felt was her fault due to an infection she had.


Dear Mama,

Of course it makes sense to feel like the only good place is to be with your babies. I remember feeling exactly that same way. There is a lot of pain here, and sometimes dying feels like the only way to make it better.

I want to tell you that I don’t think the infection killed your babies. When an infection is to blame, you go into labor too early and the baby generally dies during the birthing process or shortly after. The infection makes your water break and preterm labor begin.

Otherwise, infection is actually pretty common in pregnancy, because we have a lot of yeast and our body temperature is warmer, helping it grow.

So the guilt—let that go. If anything, now that you have had two losses at about the same time, I would say you need to see a specialist, as I would be willing to bet that the shape of uterus might be the culprit here—something corrective surgery could fix. A test where they shoot dye into your uterus and xray it will tell us.

So here is my suggestion to you. Separate out the emotion of what has happened, which is super sad and feels like punishment, from the medical issue—from the FIGHT. Be ready to fight to be a mom. Figure out where you have strength, and work that strength like a muscle. Get angry that you have to do this fight, but know that this is what will make you strong. And learn what you need to know to get that baby you want so much.

Because let me tell you this—right now your body seems against you. Not only have the babies died. But in this period after a loss, your brain is literally robbed of chemicals—important ones that help balance out your moods. So this feeling like you want to die—it comes from those stupid chemicals. And the good news is, these chemicals WILL straighten out very soon. One day you are going to feel as though a cloud as lifted, and you can smile again. Then you will be upset—your babies have died and you just smiled! But it will be a sign that your babies are a part of your life, but not the focus of it. And you will get better. And you will be ready to fight. And you will get to the bottom of these losses.

And you will beat it and win.

And the babies in your future—how sweet that will be. How much more joy you will feel. You will never take it for granted.

Feel sad for those moms who complain about motherhood, who ignore their children. You will never be that mom. It ‘s the gift your babies are giving to you.

So hang on, mama. Fight this feeling until your body recovers and helps you cope. Then be ready for the battle of your life—getting answers and moving toward that family you so want.